Equant reports stable 2002 results

4 Mar 2003

France Télécom’s corporate network services subsidiary Equant [NYSE: ENT] has announced total revenues of USD2.97 billion for 2002, representing a decrease of 3% on a pro forma basis from its 2001 total of USD3.06 billion. Turnover from its Network Services operations grew by 1% to USD1.57 billion, helping to offset falls registered by the Integration Services and SITA Contract divisions. The company said that demand was particularly strong for its internet protocol (IP) products, with increased orders from central and eastern Europe cancelling out declining revenues from Latin America. Total order intake for the year was USD2.1 billion, USD1.6 billion of which related directly to the Network Services unit. EBITDA reached USD192 million compared to a loss of USD9 million in 2001. The company said that its main priority in 2002 was network rationalisation following the ingress of Global One, the benefits of which will be felt during 2003. Its principal tasks for this year include integrating the systems and processes of Global One and Equant with a view to reducing costs further. France Télécom purchased Equant from Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautique (SITA), a cooperative of more than 600 airlines and air transport companies, in 2001 and shortly afterwards merged it with its existing business service provider, Global One. By the end of 2002 it had around 3,700 large business customers worldwide, including 500 subscribers to its IP VPN service which was launched in November 2001 and connected more than 12,000 corporate sites. Major customers include Samsung, KPMG, South African Breweries, Eurostar, Bacardi and the European Space Agency, whilst major contract wins in the fourth quarter of 2002 included the Allianz Group, Unilever, China Shipping and SWIFT.